Tag: Fuel Cells


eColectro Ready to Scale, Seeking Investors

Funded by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and administered by High Tech Rochester, NEXUS-NY is a proof-of-concept center chartered with accelerating the transition of clean-energy technologies from New York’s research labs into the marketplace with educational, financial and business support.

eColectro is one of the startups that participated in NEXUS-NY’s second cohort. In 2016, eColectro joined the Cornell’s Kevin M. McGovern Family Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences. Over the past several months, Founder/CEO Gabriel Rodriguez-Calero has been working hard on research. He is now in position to raise his first seed round, and it actively seeking investors. 

eColectro | NEXUS-NY Cohort 2Company: eColectro

Description: eColectro is developing structurally robust and highly conductive polymer membranes for a range of applications, including fuel cells. eColectro’s alkaline membranes enable the replacement of platinum catalysts with non-precious metal alternatives within fuel cell membrane electrode assemblies (MEAs). Fuel cells manufactured using this technology can be potentially produced at half the cost of current state-of-the-art systems while promising to double durability.

Location: Kevin M. McGovern Center for Venture Development in the Life Sciences at Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Achievements: eColectro continues to research ways to revolutionize how we power the nation. In December, 2015 eColectro received the Small Business Innovation Research Award (SBIR) from the National Science Foundation for approximately $150,000. In phase 1 of this project, eColectro will develop alkaline anion exchange membranes (AAEM) to enable lower cost, and durable fuel cells. The technical objectives of this process are to decrease the number of steps in the synthesis pathway of AAEMs, while simultaneously reducing time and increasing yields. Proving these technical developments is crucial for scaling and commercializing eColectro.

Founding Team: Gabriel G. Rodriguez-Calero, PhD (CEO); Robert Lewis (CRO); Kristina Hugar, PhD (CSO); Geoffrey Coats (Cofounder); Hector Abruna (Cofounder)

“We’re researching polymers to make the whole system less expensive and longer lasting. Our core competency lies in making membranes that can enable the removal of precious metals from electrodes,” says Rodriguez-Calero.

eColectro Screenshot from New Energy MagazineNEXUS-NY Research: Throughout the second phase of the NEXUS-NY program, eColectro has been working to de-risk their technology by building a prototype, while continuing the customer discovery process and developing their go-to market plan.

Next Steps: eColectro team members are continuing their research of membrane technology, which could result in the complete removal of platinum from their catalyst layer. This is a result of alkaline chemistry, which allows for cheaper metals that can remain stable and will not corrode under operating conditions, like stainless steel or nickel. The company will now partner with other companies and universities who are actively using the various final applications of their technology.

Contact: Gabriel G. Rodriguez-Calero | ggr@ecolectro.com

To learn more about how eColectro is changing the world, take a deep dive into their technology featured in NEXUS-NY’s latest edition of New Energy Magazine.

PEMtek is the Future of Fuel Cells

NEXUS-NY, a clean energy accelerator, provides educational, financial and business support for university researchers and early-stage companies across New York state. Administered by High Tech Rochester, NEXUS-NY is one of three NYSERDA-funded proof-of-concept centered chartered with accelerating the translation of clean-energy technologies from New York’s research labs into the marketplace. Throughout the NEXUS-NY program, PEMtek was able to solve a market problem for mid-size UAV power systems by designing and building a fully integrated fuel cell system that is three times more quiet than an internal combustion engine (ICE). Learn more about PEMtek’s unique fuel cell power plan for mid-size unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV’s).

PEMtek | NEXUS-NY Cohort 2

Company: PEMtek

Twitter: @FC_Rochester

Description: PEMtek Is developing a compact, mobile high-temperature PEM fuel cell with integrated reformer and which can be optimized to operate using a variety of liquid fuels. PEMtek is initially targeting the midsize UAV market with its highly integrated fuel cell. This market is desperately seeking power systems with longer range, lower noise, and which can operate using various logistics grade fuels (propane, diesel, and JP8).

Location: Rochester Institute of Technology, Rochester, NY

Achievement: Alpha Bench Prototype is now assembled and undergoing testing.

Founding Team: Mark Walluk, Brad Sparks, Mike Waller and Mike McCourt

NEXUS-NY Research: As part of the NEXUS-NY program, PEMtek went from a laboratory concept to testing an alpha prototype. The team focused on customer development, interviewing over 50 potential customers and partners.

Next Steps: PEMtek will transfer the technology from a mobile lab prototype to a compact product ready for installation on UAVs. In 2016, the team plans to integrate a compact system based on current CAD design and functioning prototype. By 2017, PEMtek will deploy their first flight onboard UAV with a collaborating UAV manufacturer.